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Associate Spotlight - Ana Simmons

 

8.04.2020 By Availity

 
Ana Simmons Associate Spotlight

Finding Creativity in Software Development

Working at Availity is a lot like playing an instrument in a symphony, according to Ana Simmons, who’s both a software engineer at Availity and a musician.  

“When I play an ensemble, the music is always different. If the trombone player is sick and playing louder than normal, I might soften the music. Or if the conductor is passionate about the piece on a given day, it will sound a bit different from the next time it’s played.”  

At Availity, Ana works with another type of ensemble, the newly formed Shield Team that helps Availity’s development teams maintain a holistic view of the organization by training new developers and triaging production issues. “Each day is a new opportunity, because no day at work is ever the same,” Ana says.

 

The Path to Availity

Ana graduated Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in music, and five years later pursued a degree in computer science. Prior to starting at Availity, Ana worked for a startup that builds mobile apps and websites for the hospitality industry.

Ana started at Availity in April of 2019 as a software developer on the Streamliners team, which creates and manages a suite of self-service tools used both internally and by our customers. When she onboarded, Ana was concerned that her lack of experience with JavaScript & React might be a problem, but her colleagues helped her quickly get up to speed, providing resources and offering one-on-one training. 

 

“I was definitely intimidated on my first day, but I quickly realized that my peers are here to help.”

 

Life at Availity Since COVID-19

Working from home has been challenging for a self-described socialite like Ana. She enjoys being in the office where she can chat with coworkers and meet new associates. She’s made a point to stay social during quarantine by participating in special interest groups like She Can Code IT, a community of current and aspiring women in technology in Jacksonville. Ana credits internal and external networking as one of the keys to her success at Availity.

While she’s working remotely, her office doubles as her hobby room where she keeps her 3D and vinyl printers, several computers she builds and takes apart, a sewing machine, and all of her instruments. The only thing missing is her motorcycle that her husband won’t let her bring inside.

Ana maintains ties to her music roots by volunteering with the Jacksonville Civic Orchestra, an organization that makes classical music accessible to all members of the community. She plays a variety of instruments, but her favorite is the trombone.


Just for Fun
Favorite Book: Tough to pick... probably Casino Royale

Favorite Movie: It's a tie between Layer Cake (2004) & Charade (1953) 

Pets: Why have pets when motorcycles are easier to train?

Favorite Food: Hot Dogs (Chicago Style!!)
 
 
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